The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has established an exciting new Project Ready Site Program to create an inventory of “premium” sites of 200 acres or more that are available and ready for development. Qualifying sites in the program will be awarded the Project Ready designation. As you may know, many other states have similar “Shovel Ready” or “Certified Sites” programs that they have successfully used to secure new investment projects. We encourage you to consider seeking this prestigious designation for your best sites. The current competitive environment, in which speed to market is key, makes it essential to have sites that can be readily developed for new projects.
The Project Ready program requires significant due diligence to be completed in advance to demonstrate that the sites are truly ready to go. This advance work will save interested companies making site location decisions approximately six months in investigatory time and thousands of dollars in due diligence studies, making the sites more attractive and better positioned to make a company’s short list. The Project Ready designation will be awarded after the application is reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from MEDC and other state departments, as well as an independent engineering consultant who will verify that the site is actually Project Ready. Sites will then be marketed by the state and the local community as Project Ready sites that are pre-screened and ready for development. Involvement of state departments upfront will help expedite required permitting. A Business Navigator may be assigned to the site when a potential user is indentified to accelerate the development process. In addition, to encourage creation of Project Ready sites, the MEDC has established a competitive program in which it will reimburse up to $100,000 or 50% (whichever is less) of the cost of developing Project Ready Program due diligence information for sites receiving the designation that are best positioned for future large-scale development. In addition, the MEDC will select one designated site per year that is in excess of 1,000 acres for funding of up to $500,000 or 50% (whichever is less) of the cost of developing the Project Ready due diligence information. I encourage your participation in these programs. Additional information and applications can be found at www.themedc.org/projectreadysites. Project Ready Sites will be another valuable tool to give Michigan the Upper Hand.